Addison Davis (left), superintendent of Hillsborough public schools, in the In-Depth with Davis video shot at Bloomingdale High School with Principal Marcos Rodriguez.

By Linda Chion

Through online videos hosted by Addison Davis, school officials said it’s never too early to research the wide range of choices and programs available in Hillsborough County Public Schools for students within and outside its attendance boundaries.

“Our in-depth segments strive to take an in-depth look at our staff, our students and programs that make our district so great,” said Davis, the school district’s superintendent of schools. “We want to make sure that all of our families and students know about every one of our amazing opportunities within our schools.”

At Bloomingdale High School in Valrico, Davis talked with teacher Richard Fortney, whose automotive services program allows students to earn Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certifications.

The ASE certification has “major, massive name recognition,” Fortney said. “When you walk in with an ASE certification, that says you know what you’re talking about. You have earned the right to be in that automotive shop. You are above where everybody else is just walking off the street.”

One student said he took the class “to get basic knowledge of my car” and that since then it has “slingshot into what I want my career field to be.” Principal Marcos Rodriguez said gaining life skills through the program “is huge and instrumental,” even if students decide not to pursue careers in automotive technology.

At Armwood High School in Seffner, Davis explored the school’s collegiate academy, which allows students to earn their liberal arts Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree through Hillsborough Community College while also meeting the requirements for their high school diplomas.

“It’s not just a cost-saving measure,” said teacher Theodore Newfield, adding that it allows students “to explore other career opportunities they might not even be aware of,” even if they change their minds by graduation. Better to change their minds now, Newfield said, “rather than when they get off to college.”

In-Depth with Davis segments include topics that cover mental health, virtual education, school reopening issues, Hispanic Heritage Month, Black History Month, kindergarten readiness, magnet choice options, career and technical education programs, environmental studies and agriculture programs.

View for yourself at

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